“Most importantly because deficit reduction is not a worthy goal onto itself,” said White House Press Secretary Jay Carney today. “This is all about making our economy stronger, making it more productive and allowing it to create even more jobs. That is the most important thing when it comes to economic policy as far as the President is concerned.”
File this under “things people who aren’t in the generation who will have to pay back the national debt say.”
You could argue, I suppose, that President Obama wants to grow the economy in order to pump up tax revenues and reduce revenues that way. And, you know, sure. That makes a certain sort of sense. The problem, of course, is that it’s hard to grow the economy when a) we keep upping the amount of debt tax revenues from economic activity must pay off by a $1 trillion/year clip and b) approach deficit reduction with higher taxes that, in turn, restrict the very sort of economic activity we hope to encourage.
Deficit reduction is a worthy goal, in and of itself, because it slows the growth of the government that the economy must support. The only thing better would be deficit elimination to the point of debt reduction, which would mean that we’d be moving the burden that government represents to the economy backward.